Saturday, June 14, 2008

15May2008 Bloom Where You Are Planted

One of the difficult things in life is continuing to do what's right when those around you, particularly other members of the Church, aren't (at least in your opinion). At some point or other, almost everyone ends up in a ward or branch that doesn't seem friendly. It seems that they are keeping to themselves or their own circle of friends instead of fellowshipping with all members as we are taught to. This is a problem everywhere. Some say, after a few bad experiences, that they aren't going to go to church as long as they are in that ward or as long as so-and-so is the bishop.

We need to examine the consequences of that decision and see if they are worse than continuing in the "unfriendly" situation. What will that say to our children? Will that give them an excuse when they get older not to participate? Will they miss out on important experiences that will only happen at certain times in their lives? Does that aggravate the problem in the ward? Does it slow down the Lord's work? Are you willing to do that to Him? Perhaps continuing as is isn't real great. Stopping will be worse, but changing OUR behavior can make things better.

I've seen so many who complain that no one is friendly with them, instead of ignoring that and just being friendly and helpful REGARDLESS of how the others act. Many times our perception is not accurate, and if we got outside of ourselves, we would see that we might be partially to blame. I don't come late to church. I come early so I can meet others and fellowship. I mingle. That is what we are supposed to do! I find that just a few positive comments or interest in others makes them happier, which always makes me happier! This action lubricates the Lord's wheels and makes His work move smoother and faster. I LIKE doing that!

If some offense does happen, think if there was something you could have done to prevent or avoid that disappointment. Usually there is. Learn to give it a little time, particularly before saying something negative back. Be very careful whom you talk to about it. Discussing it with others can really aggravate the situation. Sometimes a different perspective, getting outside of ourselves, melts the offense away. We don't have to judge everyone, their actions, or motives. Just forget it. Sure that isn't always easy, but I'm so glad for the many times I've been able to do so.

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